Single-sex wards are to be included in all new Welsh hospitals.
Edwina Hart, Health Minister in the Welsh Assembly Government, also plans to order all hospitals with mixed sex wards to make sure there are separate areas for male and female patients, and separate bathrooms.
Mrs Hart will say: “Patients expect and deserve the utmost dignity in the care they receive and we must do more to ensure that the highest standards of care are provided.
“This new guidance will ensure that we raise that quality higher. There is no group better placed to make recommendations on this issue than nurses and their representative organisations in Wales.”
The announcement comes after recommendations were made by a working group consisting of nursing staff and health bodies.
Their report also includes recommendations on the introduction of an all-Wales uniform for nursing staff, the improvement of hospital cleanliness and protection of patients’ visiting times and mealtimes.
Richard Jones, acting director of the Royal College of Nursing in Wales, which took part in the working group, said: “Dignity is not just a top priority for nurses and politicians – we know this is something that patients also feel passionately about too.
“There can be no greater legacy set by the NHS in this its 60th anniversary year than one which maintains that patient-centred care is at the heart of all that we do.”
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